Picture of Strawberry Mead (1 gallon)
Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out this Strawberry Mead Instructable. It's not very hard and makes a really delicious mead when it's finished.

This calls for the Strawberries to be added during primary fermentation. But most of the experts in blind tests have preferred meads with fruit (actually called Melomel's) added during secondary. If those words are gibberish to you, primary means the initial fermentation. Usually this is between 1 week and 4 weeks. However long it takes for the yeast to get an ABV up to about where you want it (anywhere between 11%-14%). The Strawberry-Banana Mead in the picture above went from 0-14.3% in a week. I also have another mead going that is only at 4%, and it's been 2 weeks. So the time it takes can vary. Once the fermentation has petered out, you rack (removing of the juice) off the lees (all that stuff sitting on the bottom of the carboy). You usually put this in another carboy, or in a temporary sanitized bucket while you clean out the first one, and back into the original. This is now called your secondary vessel.

The only reason I added the fruit during primary rather than secondary, is I learned to make it during primary and it always came out good. So I have no good reason to change up the recipe. But feel free do add the strawberries after the primary fermentation is done.
I'm about to start my first batch and i have a question about aging. Do you remove the airlock and just tighten a cap on the jug, do you have to suck the air out, or just leave the airlock on? Thanks.
jimbles (author) 3 years ago
Oh, and if you spill some of this on the floor, it'll be sticky for roughly the rest of your natural born life. So be more careful than me!
bdmiller69 jimbles10 months ago
Question..you mention bottling but don't give any specific information. Is mead put in beer bottles/capped or wine bottles/corked?

I'm looking forward to making my first batch soon.

Thx for the instructions.
JustinZ11 months ago

I have a general mead question. I made my first batch about 10 days ago. I added yeast nutrient when I pitched the yeast, after 24 hours, and after 48 hours. I was going to add some additional nutrient an a week or two. I have not noticed any activity in the airlock. I put a tube from the airlock into a bucket of Five Star and water and have not seen any bubbling. I did hear fizzing in the fermenter, but no bubbling from the tube. Should I be concerned? Would it be a good idea to pitch more yeast?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

ashleyd3 JustinZ11 months ago

More information would help... What sort of Yeast have you used, what sort of yeast nutrient, etc etc...

Based off what you have told me, could be an issue with the yeast, or the seal of the container.

As an example, I am currently making a batch of JAOM (Joe's Ancient Orange Mead) and the recipie calls for using rasins as a nutrient, and Using nothing but your run of the mill bread yeast (trust me, dont knock it till you have tried it.)

Here's my little batch bubbling away.

JustinZ ashleyd311 months ago
Thanks for the reply. I used Lalvin 71b-1122 for the yeast and the yeast nutrients were Fermaid-K and DAP I think. I took a hydrometer reading the other night when I added the final round of nutrient and the gravity was 1.012. The original gravity was 1.122, so something is definitely working. I tasted the sample I took, and it is coming along nicely. I didn't notice any sediment (lees?) when I stirred in the yeast nutrient this last time. Is this normal? I'm using a bucket, so I can't see how it is progressing. I plan to rack to a carboy in a couple weeks.
jimbles (author)  JustinZ11 months ago

Sounds like it worked! No bubble activity doesn't always mean no fermentation is happening. It is weird to not see sediment, but if you are using a bucket, I can understand. You'll definitely get some after you let it sit for a while. I disagree with ashleyd3 in that 71B can and has made a great mead. As they noted, you can make mead with bread yeast. Speed of fermentation is based on many different factors, and strain of yeast is a small drop in that bucket. In fact I made a mead once with 71B that fermented completely in 3 days, so fast that it tasted like rocket fuel! I would also disagree about avoiding racking. That's one of the most common practices we have to clarify the mead. Some people rack 3-4 times as the sediment (lees) settles. If you're using a gallon jug and have fridge space, putting it in the fridge for a week or two will really speed up the clarifying process. Good luck, and if you have any more questions, I'm happy to answer them!

ashleyd3 JustinZ11 months ago

The Lalvin 71b-1122 may brew a bit too slowly for the purposes for a mead, but that's okay- its all about learning. Fermaid-K will do the job. I still prefer raisins... firstly, they are cheaper, secondly, they are natural.

I would suggest that you avoid racking unless you have to... would have been better to start in the carboy. Again, all a learning experience.

I am thinking that I might post the recipe that I am using on here.

pvtizzy1 year ago

I have a batch of the Strawberry that i started sunday and the airlock blew off yesterday afternoon. I am very glad that I had my Carboy in a bucket in the bathroom.

do you need the acid blend for the raspberry mead and strawberry mead?
jimbles (author)  lrodriguez6581 year ago
only if you feel you need it. I didn't, the acid from the fruits seemed to be good enough for me. up to you.
do you need the acid blend for the raspberry mead and strawberry mead?
MissaBee2 years ago
Just wondering, what's your recommendation for an aging time?
jimbles (author)  MissaBee2 years ago
I'm not a huge advocate for intentional aging. I've had too many meads that tasted bad that were aged plenty long, and some great tasting ones that were pretty young. And I maintain that the average drinker wouldn't really pick up on many of the complexities of aging. The rule I've heard and the one I stick to is it's ready when it's clear. If it has some off flavors at that time, give it 2-3 months. If after that time it still doesn't taste good, what's likely making it taste bad won't be corrected with age. In any case, I'll say it this way, I've had this Raspberry Mead after 4 weeks, and I just tried a bottle from a year ago- the difference/improvements were not worth the year wait to me. I make this with the intention of drinking it sooner rather than later. Good luck!
Cluelessben2 years ago
Back again, and thanks for the awesome instructable its extremely clear. Anyway b to b the case at hand, I'm afraid I left my mead fermenting to long. This is day 1 of cold Crashing, is there any way to possibly reverse the over-fermentation
jimbles (author)  Cluelessben2 years ago
Thank you. What do you mean it over fermented? It got to a higher alcohol % than you intended? If you want to lower the ABV, you can dilute it with water. If it's the sweetness you missed and it went drier than you intended, you can back sweeten with more honey, just make sure to add potassium sorbate so it doesn't kick back hope. Hope that helps!
Javin0072 years ago
Instructables like this make me sad that they took away the voting capability. Five stars!
jimbles (author)  Javin0072 years ago
Thank you very much! That's nice of you to say.
Wasagi2 years ago
Superb! This is much more appealing than the strong vinegar of simple cornmeal fermentation, I'm definitely going to be trying this. Also, did you find that peptic enzymes and Super Kleer were worth using in conjunction, or do they end up doing the same job in the end?
jimbles (author)  Wasagi2 years ago
Thank you! The only commercial mead I've ever liked was from B. Nektar Meadery. All the others I've tried aren't very good in my opinion. As for your question, I think the Super Kleer was fine and would skip the pectic enzyme. I've never had Super Kleer fail to clear a mead, no matter what I threw at it. I just had a glass of it last night and the strawberries really come through with age. Good luck with your batch!
origami992 years ago
This is a perfect example of how to write a great instructible. It's super clear and has all the details. Great job! I can't wait to try this!!
jimbles (author)  origami992 years ago
Thank you!
Cluelessben2 years ago
Hi I am on day 1 of this Mead, I didn't add any peptic enzyme, or anything like that, however my mead a a thick layer of slush on top. Is that fine to remain there, then when I bottle it, simply only Siphon off the mad itself?
jimbles (author)  Cluelessben2 years ago
That slush will probably settle down to the bottom in a week or two after it finished fermenting. You can also put it in the fridge when it's done and that'll get everything to sink. I would rack it off the slurry a few times until it's pretty clear. Then drink away!
Mr. E Meat3 years ago
Nice Instructable! I made a batch of mead about six months ago. It stopped fermenting (I thought) in about a month. I bottled it two months later. A couple weeks ago I went into my laboratory only to find my feet sticking to the floor... Apparently mead can take a long time to finish fermenting; two of my bottles had popped their corks and sprayed ten feet across the room! I'll be monitoring SG next time I make mead to prevent this from happening.
jimbles (author)  Mr. E Meat3 years ago
Thanks! Wow, it really should have settled down after that long. I'm surprised it had that much umph left in it to pop the cork! Did you add sugar when you were bottling to get some carbonation?
I thought it was done. I didn't add any sugar after. The mead still tasted sweet but I thought that maybe I had used too much honey and the high sugar level had killed off the yeast so I just bottled it and forgot about it until they started popping. :)
bowow08073 years ago
I've had a mead going for about 8 and a half months now and its still not at the gravity I want. Its dangerously drinkable yes, but it's only at hydromel strength (approximately 10%abv) I wanted it to just get down to 1.040 (it is at the home stretch only 30 gravity points left! OG was at 1.140 Ken's sweet mead recipe) I added some more yeast and it started up for about 2 weeks before slowing down again. I know that I need to check with a hydrometer, but I'll do that in about a month. I'll tell you more about it once I get a new reading
jimbles (author)  bowow08073 years ago
Sounds great! Hovering at 10% you're well out of the hydromel range. In fact that's where a lot of people like to stop them to retain the sweetness. I'm bet its delicious though. Have you used any yeast energizer or nutrients? There might not be much in there for the yeast and that's why it keeps petering out. 8 months is a long time, you must have the patience of a saint!
Yes I put enough nutrients in it. And it's less traditional patience and more like situational. I don't have a corker and I plan to age my mead for a good long while. So I will be bottling when I get my next order from the USA (I'm in the Philippines) and a bunch of wine bottles too.